The parents of former Rice defensive back, Dale Lloyd, II, who died Sept. 25, 2006, filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the school in State District Court in Houston on behalf of their son’s estate.

Lloyd collapsed while working out with the Rice football team the day before he died. The Harris county Medical Examiner ruled the 19-year old athlete died from acute excertional rhabdomyolysis secondary to sickle cell trait.

Dale and Bridgette Lloyd are also suing the NCAA, two companies, and four individuals including Tulsa head football coach Todd Graham, who was the head coach at Rice at the time of the tragedy.

Also named are Yancy McKnight, Rice’s strength and conditioning coach, Clint Haggard, Rice’s head trainer, and two team doctors: Thomas O. Clanton and Leland A. Winston, both of Houston.

The companies named in the lawsuit are Optimal Nutrition Systems, of South Carolina, and Cytosport, Inc., a California corporation.

The lawsuit, filed by Houston attorney Mark Lanier on behalf of the Lloyd family, alleges: “Skin color and flagrant ignorance tragically killed Dale Lloyd,II. A simple blood test could have save Dale. Instead, Dale’s African-American heritage was tossed aside and a family is forever without a son.”

The Lloyd’s attorney said this lawsuit is not about money.

“It’s a lawsuit on behalf of the deceased’s estate, but the parents aren’t really after the money,” Lanier said. “What the parents are after is a policy change. We want every black athlete in America to see if this could happen to them.

“If you’re an African-American, and 8% of them carry a sickle cell trait, they don’t test you for it when it’s a matter of life and death.” 

While the lawsuit alleges Rice officials ignored the fact that Lloyd was suffering during the workout which helped cause his death, the plaintiffs have reason to believe the nutritional supplement given by school officials to Dale contained creatine and contributed to his death.

The lawsuit states “medical literature indicates that the use of nutritional supplements in those people with sickle cell trait can increase the risk of excertional rhabdomyolysis and renal failure-a lethal and often fatal combination.”